PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending August 23rd, 2019

This week, we focus on client service. Retirement plan advisers can play a big role in helping participants with their rollover decisions. As well, if they reach out to those participants who have taken hardship withdrawals to help them structure a budget, advisers might very well help those participants put their financial houses in order and avoid taking another hardship withdrawal. Related to this is the fact that many workers are saddled with debt, so, when implementing a wellness program, helping workers reduce that debt should be a cornerstone of the program. And it is also important for advisers to make themselves available for one-on-one advice when offering a financial wellness program. That way, they can prompt workers to make sound financial decisions.

 

Client Service
Participants Not Up to Speed on Rollover Options
“There can be huge consequences from making the wrong decision, ranging from taxes and penalties to higher fees and risky or poor performing investments,” says Ric Edelman, with Edelman Financial Engines. Read more >
Helping Participants After They Have Taken Hardship Withdrawals
Participants who have taken a hardship withdrawal are nearly three-times more likely to feel “always” stressed in general and three-times more likely to have “a lot” of stress about their financial situation. Read more >
Debt Inhibits Workers from Saving
Fifty-seven percent of workers would like to make their own financial decisions but have someone validate those decisions, and 31% want specific advice, PwC found. Read more >
Employers Broadening Well-Being Programs to Encompass Many Aspects of Life
Among those that are now considering physical, social, financial, community and mental health, employee productivity is higher. Read more >
Effective Financial Wellness Programs Hinge on One-on-One Advice
With only 19% of workers who are offered a financial wellness program using it, employers need to take a new approach, according to MetLife Read more >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
$300 Million Plan Faces ERISA Fiduciary Breach Lawsuit

The plan being challenged in the latest fiduciary breach lawsuit held less than $300 million as of the start of last year, making it one of the smallest to become the target of an ERISA complaint.

Three New ERISA Lawsuits Bash Actively Managed TDFs

Three new lawsuits question the offering of actively managed target-date funds to retirement plan participants.

Another Lawsuit Challenges Use of Untested CITs in 401(k) Plan

A similar lawsuit was filed in May against an investment manager and a different plan sponsor.

DOL Aims to Quickly Simplify Conflict of Interest Framework

The main theme of the new fiduciary rule proposal is alignment with other regulators—the SEC and FINRA in particular—but the agency is by no means surrendering its jurisdiction over tax-qualified retirement plans.

Warn Your Clients: Don’t Abuse Coronavirus Hardship Withdrawals
Though retirement plans can allow individuals to self-certify that they qualify for a penalty-free coronavirus-related distribution, should the IRS discover otherwise during a future audit, a participant can be subject to substantial penalties.
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